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Full text of "Labor Charter of Fascist Italy"

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The Labor Charter 

Art. 1. The Italian nation is an organism, having aims, life, and 
means of action superior to those of the single or grouped 
individuals who compose it. It is a moral, political and economic 
unity which is completely realized in the Fascist State. 

Art. 2. Labor in all forms, intellectual, technical and manual, is a 
social duty. In this sense, and in this sense only, is it protected by 
the State. From the national point of view all production is a unit; 
its objects are unitary and can be defined as the well-being of the 
producers and the development of national strength. 

Art. 3. Trade or syndicate organization is free. But only the 
syndicate regularly recognized and placed under the control of the 
State has the legal right to represent the entire group of employers 
or of workers for which it is constituted, to guard their interests 
before the state or other organized economic groups, to draw up 
collective labor contracts, obligatory on all those belonging to the 
same group, to impose contributions (taxes) on them and exercise 
delegated functions of public interest relating to them. 

Art. 4. In collective labor contracts, the solidarity of the various 
factors of production finds its concrete expression in the 
reconciliation of the opposing interests of employers and workers, 
and in their subordination to the superior interests of production. 

Art. 5. The labor court is the organ through which the State 
intervenes to solve labor controversies, whether they deal with the 
observance of contracts or other existing standards, or with the 
determination of new labor conditions. 

Art. 6. Legally organized trade organizations assure legal equality 
between employers and workers, maintain the discipline of 
production and labor, and promote its perfection. A corporation 
constitutes the organization of one field of production and 
represents its interests as a whole. Since the interests of production 
are national interests, the corporations are recognized by law as 
state organizations by virtue of this representation. 

Art. 7. The Corporate State considers private initiative in the field 
of production the most efficacious and most useful instrument in 
the interest of the nation. Private organization of production being 
a function of national interest, the organization of the enterprise is 
responsible to the State for the direction of its production. 
Reciprocity of the rights and duties is derived from the 
collaboration of the productive forces. The technician, office 
employee and worker is an active collaborator in the economic 
undertaking, the direction of which is the right of the employer, 
who has the responsibility for it. 

Art. 8. Trade associations of employers are obliged to promote in 
every way the increase and perfection of products and a reduction 
in costs. The representatives of those who exercise a liberal 
profession or an art, and the associations of public employees, join 
in the guardianship of the interests of art, science and letters, in the 
perfection of production and in the attainment of temporal aims of 
the corporate system. 

Art. 9. The intervention of the State in economic production takes 
place only when private initiative is lacking or is insufficient, or 
when the political interests of the State are involved. Such 
intervention may assume the form of outside control, 
encouragement or direct management. 

Art. 10. Labor disputes which involve groups can have no resort to 
the Labor Court until the corporation has exhausted its efforts for 
reconciliation. When individuals are involved in relation to the 
interpretation of collective contracts, the workers associations are 
empowered to attempt settlement. . . . 

Art. 11. The trade associations are obliged to regulate by means of 
collective contracts the labor relations between the employers and 
employees. . . . Every collective labor contract, under penalty of 
nullification, must contain precise statements ... of the amount and 
manner of payment of wages, and the hours of labor. 

Art. 12. The syndicate operation, the corporations' mediation and 

the labor court decisions shall guarantee the relation between 
wages and normal living costs. . . . 

Art. 13. Losses due to crises in business and the fluctuations in 
exchange must be equally divided between the two elements 
(capital and labor). . . . 

Art. 14. Wages should be paid as best suited to the needs of 
employee and the undertaking. When payment is by piece- 
work . . . suitable weekly or fortnightly accountings must be 
furnished. Night work . . . must be paid at higher rates than day 
work. . . . 

Art. 15. Employees have the right of a weekly rest day, 
Sunday. . . . Collective contracts . . . shall ensure respect for civil 
and religious holidays. Employees must scrupulously and earnestly 
observe working hours. 

Art. 16. After a year's uninterrupted service in a concern doing 
continuous work, the employee has the right to an annual holiday 
with pay. 

Art. 17. In companies functioning the year round the employee has 
the right in case of discharge through no fault of his own to 
compensation based on the years of service. Likewise, in case of 

Art. 18. The transfer of a firm into new hands shall not affect the 
labor contracts. . . . Illness of an employee does not cancel his 
contract. Call to service in the army or navy or Fascist militia shall 
not cause the dismissal of an employee. 

Art. 19. Infractions of discipline, and acts disturbing the normal 
functioning of a concern shall he punished by fine, suspension, or 
immediate discharge without compensation. . . . 

Art. 20. Newly hired employees shall have a period of trial in 
which the right to cancel the contract is reciprocal and payment 
only for actual time of work. 

Art. 21. Collective labor contracts extends its benefits to workers 
at home. . . . 

Art. 22. The State shall ascertain and control employment and 
unemployment since these are the indices of production and labor. 

Art. 23. Labor exchanges (employment bureaus) shall be 
controlled by the Corporations. Employers shall be required to 
engage workers through these exchanges, with freedom of choice 
among names inscribed except that other things being equal, 
preference must be given to members of the Fascist Party and of 
Fascist syndicates in order of seniority of registration. 

Art. 24. Professional trades associations must practice selective 
action among members for the purpose of increasing technical skill 
and moral value. 

Art. 25. The corporations must see that the laws are observed 
governing safety, preventing accidents, sanitation. 

Art. 26. Insurance is an excellent example of the spirit of 
collaboration between classes. Employers and employees 
contribute to the cost proportionately. . . . 

Art 27. The Fascist State proposes to bring about: 

1 . Improvement in accident insurance. 

2. Improvement in extension of maternity assurance. 

3. Compulsory insurance against occupational diseases and 
tuberculosis, first step towards compulsory insurance against all 

4. Improvement in unemplo3nnent insurance. 

5. Adoption of special marriage endowment for young workers. 

Art. 28. It is the duty of the employees associations to protect 
members administratively and legally in problems arising in 
connection with accidents or other form of social insurance. . . . 

Art. 29. The associations must provide relief for workers they 

represent whether they be members or non-members. . . . 

Art. 30. Education and training, especially technical training, shall 
be one of the chief duties of the professional trade associations 
towards members and non-members. They shall support the 
Dopolavoro (recreational institution) and other national 
educational enterprises.